Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business Paperback – Jul 2 1991
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A nauseatingly honest and therefore controversial expose of the base beings that inhabit the higher levels of the music industry. Filled with horror stories that will confirm your worst suspicions about the toxicity of what my friends and I call "Planet CD Wood."
From Publishers Weekly
English rock group Pink Floyd was one of the hottest bands in 1980, with an LP shooting up the charts and a concert tour that sold out within hours. But the group was unable to get airplay for its latest single, at least not without engaging the services of a nascent breed of freelance promoters whose practices ushered in a new era of payola. These promotors, dubbed "indies," used illegal methods and had suspected mob connections. That the recording industry not only tolerated but embraced the indies is indicative of the questionable tactics now employed in this high-stakes arena, charges Dannen in a sharply critical study. At its center is industry leader CBS records, whose president Walter Yetnikoff is depicted as a bully of Machiavellian proportions whose style set the tone throughout the business in the '80s. Dannen, a reporter for Institutional Investor , mixes the skills of an investigative journalist with the gifts of an expert storyteller in an expose that will intrigue and appall readers with its disclosures. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Vanity Fair; author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Dannen tells a story that most of the public wouldn't even imagine is possible in the modern business world. The music business is clearly not for the faint of heart, and Dannen wants to make sure that we know it. This tale of rampant ambition, greed, back-stabbing, and arrogance is gripping from the opening chapter. The real miracle is how captivating the book remains while spending so little time discussing the people we normally associate with those charateristics... THE STARS! The American music buying public could be all wrong about where the entertainment lives...
Everyone who reads the book will be blown away by the amount of research involved. You might find a few quotes or statements that you just won't believe, but you need only flip to the back and search for the page number to find a note regarding the real-life source. Dannen's research is meticulous, and we have to be grateful for all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into producing this work.
I have only one recommendation on improving the book: Illustration! The complex web of companies that own or operate other companies... who works where and when... which lawyer worked at what firm... who waged war against who and their tactics... I wanted to take out sketch paper and start charting the history. A few illustrations for the reader to reference would have made Hit Men an even more incredible read.
One part of the book describes how Pink Floyd's single "Another Brick in the Wall" that was number one on the singles charts and played in every city except Los Angeles because CBS Records wouldn't pay the bribe to the local organization to have them play it. The book discusses the quick rise and fall of Casablanca Records which mirrored the rise and fall of disco. The book discusses the politics inside each record company where A&R departments fight with Marketing at the demise of the artist. The rise and fall and rise again of Dick Asher is discussed in detail Presidents are replaced at a whim, only to be rehired years later.
The music industry and the mob connections in this book are entertaining and incredulous. This book should be a movie, it is like Almost Famous from the record industry point of view.
Most recent customer reviews
Great book - must have for anyone who works or wants to work in the music biz to see how it was - NOT how it is today...Published 24 months ago by Dennis Garces
Seems amazon.ca does not publish reviews it does not agree with so why don't they just publish their own polished BS?Published on May 7 2014 by Peppy197
As an experienced music industry professional with over 15 years of experience, I can tell you that this is the unofficial history book of the music industry that can be used to... Read morePublished on March 22 2004 by Gian Fiero
Well written and researched, but frankly, why write about men who weren't executives for the best and phenomenons?! Read morePublished on July 17 2003
A frightening and enthralling look at the history of the modern music business. Dannen creates a mosaic of life in the industry by tracing the histories and careers of some of its... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2003 by frumiousb
This book offers an interesting look at the music industry from the mid-60s to the early 90's. Many of the characters are fairly unsavory. Read morePublished on July 24 2002 by Ronald Brown
Powerful Book&even more on Point considering what Michael Jackson is going through with Sony&TOmmy Mottola.this Book takes on many things from the past,present&future. Read morePublished on July 23 2002 by MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD
If you can't stop reading it, it must be good non-fiction. Well done. If you like this one, I'd recommend "Mansion on the Hill" as a companion. Read morePublished on June 13 2002 by samchar
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